Thursday, September 23, 2010

Seed Tape

I HATE thinning seedlings! There is something so wrong about pulling up that newly sprouted little plant and just throwing it away! But if you don't do it, your mature plants will not be productive and your harvest will suffer greatly. My afternoon chore today will be to thin out my turnip seedlings:

I went to an online gardener's forum and found a great way to avoid all that tedious thinning ~ SEED TAPE!
It's really simple, even the kids can do it. All you need is some one inch strips of news paper, some tweezers, and a glue made out of flour and water (just enough to form a thin paste).
Do not use Elmer's type glue products. They make a water proof barrier around the seed and won't allow for germination.

Lay out a paper strip and place dots of glue at the distance your seedlings should be. You can find that information on the back of the seed packet. Very gently pick up a seed and set in a dot. That's it! This "glue" dries very fast, so work quickly. It's also a great way to plant tiny seeds.

I have to admit that I fudged a little bit on the spacing. For instance, the carrots should be about three inches apart and I placed them about one inch apart. I figure that not every seed will germinate, and even if they do, I'll only have to thin every other one rather than dozens!

When the strips are dry you can take them right out to the garden and plant OR roll them up until you are ready to use.

I have a feeling that this method is going to save me a lot of time and spare me from a lot of back pain!

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